Two weeks after being dumped as chairman of the Assembly Higher Education Committee, Anthony Portantino was given his gavel back by Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez.
"I think the speaker did the right thing," Portantino said. "I’m happy to have my committee back, where I can focus on issues I deeply care about. "
Portantino lost his committee chairmanship on the same day the speaker stripped South Gate Democrat Hector De La Torre from his post heading the powerful Rules Committee. De La Torre was replaced by Ted Lieu, D-Torrance. De La Torre has said he was stripped of his post because of his refusal to go along with a "golden handshake" proposal for some senior Assembly employees.
Lieu gave up the gavel at Banking and Finance to chair the Rules Committee. The Banking Committee wil now be chaired by Pedro Nava, D-Santa Barbara.
Completing the shuffle, Contra Costa Democrat Mark DeSaulnier will take over as chairman of the Transportaion Committee, which was formerly chaired by Nava. De La Torre remains the odd man out, without a committee chairmanship.